The #Trash Tag Challenge is one of the newest challenges that is activated around the world. While it began several years ago, it has recently been picked up by social media and people are grabbing their bags and heading outdoors. Many young people, teens and college-age students are volunteering, logging hours walking highways, picking up litter on beaches and in parks, working together to make a cleaner planet. While it used to be widely considered a “community service” payment for those who had legal offenses, the #TRASHTAG challenge is more, as it is purely volunteer work, with participants willingly stepping up.
In many places, gloves and bags are provided, with some direction about when and where. In others, people are just showing up, spending time in nature, getting some exercise, and taking responsibility for taking care of our earth.
My first thought was wondering why we have to have a challenge, why we have to create a “gimmick” to spur the reward to do good, to do right. As I think about this, several other thoughts come to mind. I am all for the challenge, for the volunteering and the cleaning, the collecting, the clearing, the education, the ownership, and the stewardship. It’s past time. I think it goes without saying that if we took care of our beautiful Earth, we wouldn’t be picking up plastic, gathering litter, calling on all to be cognizant of the care and responsibility in our world. But here we are. We arrived at this place because too many people threw things away, cluttered irresponsibly, desecrated this land.
Perhaps the greatest thing about the challenge is the awareness that it is generating. I really like that young people are joining together, taking their turns. They may not have created the situation, but they are stepping forward to address the issue. In many cases, young people are leading the charge, which is a huge statement for the future of the planet. Often those young people walk side by side along older residents, further strengthening the dedication of all in the challenge. So let’s do all that we can. Carry a bag and gather litter from the ditches. Be aware of your use (and discard) of any and all plastic products, choosing a more organic or recyclable alternative. If we all step up to “own” our place, to care for our Earth, we all play a part in being part of the solution. Even if yesterday we were part of the problem, today we can act differently, accept our responsibility, embrace the care of our Earth in a more loving way. If it takes a media-driven challenge, so be it.
Let’s move forward, letting this be the impetus propelling us into being better people, better stewards of the Earth, better human beings making better choices. We can be the change our Earth needs.Tags: #trashtag challenge, being better stewards of the earth
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
Licensed Professional Counselor
Advanced Clinical HypnoTherapist
- Deb England began working part-time for Wholeness Healing Center in September 2004 and began full-time in May 2005. Deb practices primarily in the Broken Bow office and one day a week in the Grand Island office. Previously she had completed her practicum and internship at Morning Star Alliance, working in the Broken Bow and Grand Island offices.
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